I honestly cannot remember ever trying a persimmon before I got to Ukraine. Of course they are not native to Eastern Europe, but they can be found at virtually every outdoor produce market in Kyiv.
At perfect ripeness, persimmons are much like tomatoes: firm, but with a bit of give. One of the great things about persimmons is that they have neither the slimy seeds of tomatoes nor the fibrous pits of mangos. They are smooth, sweet and so refreshing!
4 vine ripened tomatoes
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. chopped red onion
1 tsp. salt
juice from 1/2 lemon
hot sauce to taste
Peel and dice the persimmon (I eat the skin, but don’t particularly like it in the salsa).
Roughly dice the tomatoes.
Finely chop the garlic.
Combine all ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Serve plain as a salad, or with your favorite salsa accompaniment (pictured above over hearty brown rice).
Did I mention that I don’t have an oven?
No cookies, no frozen pizza, and no lasagna for me! This recipe is one of my attempts to be creative with just a stovetop.
Chicksquash Patties with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
2 cups chickpeas (prepared as directed; I used dried, so I soaked & boiled them beforehand)
1.5 cups butternut squash, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
1 red pepper
1 cup spicy tomato sauce
1/4 cup creamy goat cheese
2 garlic cloves
seasoned salt, to taste
fresh parsley as a garnish (I had a guest this particular evening, so I wanted to be fancy)
Mash the cooked chickpeas with a potato masher, or whatever works best for you.
Steam the butternut squash in a frying pan (or roast in the oven if you’ve got one).
Mash the squash with the chickpeas and add salt to taste.
Add a beaten egg and mix thoroughly.
At this point, I would normally add seasoned bread crumbs or flour to help shape the patties, but I didn’t want to spend the money.
Form the mixture into patties, approximately 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 in tall.
Cook the patties in a pan on low-medium flame until cooked through; about 3 minutes on each side.
In the meantime, lay the whole red pepper on an open flame until the side is burnt. Rotate regularly until the entire pepper is black.
Remove the pepper from the flame and let it sit.
To make the sauce, sautee the chopped onion and garlic in a pot.
De-seed & skin the pepper, chop, and add to the onion and garlic.
Add the tomato sauce and mix thoroughly.
Add the goat cheese, mix, and remove from heat.
Serve the patties with sauce and garnish with parsley.